On the River, 1883

by Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823–1900)
Oil on canvas
24¼ x 44⅛ inches
Signed and dated lower left: J.F Cropsey 1883


The artist

(Probably) William H. Gray, acquired from above, ca. 1883–93

Private collection, Concord, New Hampshire


San Francisco, California, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915, Gallery 59, Wall A

Related Works

The Gates of the Hudson, 1891, watercolor on paper, 18⅛ x 26¾ inches; de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California

The Gates of the Hudson, 1892, oil on canvas, 33 x 53 inches, signed and dated lower center: J. F. Cropsey 1892.; Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

Note: This work depicts Pollepel’s Island on the Hudson, looking north. The island, now part of Hudson Highlands State Park, is located 50 miles north of New York City and features the abandoned military structure of Bannerman’s Castle.

Cropsey made two excursions in 1880 that resulted in sketches, then watercolors and oils of this area; in July with the “Artist’s Excursion” sailing up the Hudson River to Albany, then by rail to Schenectady, and in September up the Hudson to the Highlands.[1]

[1] Anthony M. Speiser, ed., Jasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonné, Works in Oil, vol. 3, 1885–1900, Watercolors: 1842–1900 (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: Newington-Cropsey Foundation, 2019), 95.

Artist Biography

Famed Hudson River School painter and architect.

By Tiffany Win

A leader of the Hudson River School famous for colorful autumnal landscapes.

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VII. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Jasper Francis Cropsey was born on February 18, 1823 in Rossville, Staten Island, New York. Known to family and friends as “Frank,” the young boy worked on the farm in the summer and attended school in the winter. Growing up in a rural environment meant the artist had little to no exposure to pictures or art. From his youth, he was weak-bodied and suffered illnesses which kept him from full year schooling.

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